Consequences of Social Change

Yasuhito Kinoshita

in Refuge of the Honored

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1993 | ISBN: 9780520075955
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520911789 | DOI:
Consequences of Social Change

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Few generations anywhere have had to cope with social changes as massive as those that have unfolded in the lives of the current Japanese elderly. War was part of daily life among the Japanese, ending in massive destruction and devastating defeat. Equally disorienting was Japan's reconstruction and rise to economic leadership in the forty years following the war. A seventy-five-year-old man in 1990 would have been thirty years old when Japan was defeated in 1945; his generation not only fought the wars but also did the main work of reconstruction. War also produced a large number of young widows and never-married women, and these women without families have now reached old age. Beneath the technological and political changes, fundamental change occurred in the core social institution of Japanese society, the family. The shift from empire to democracy meant a change in the support system for the elderly. This chapter discusses the impact of that change.

Keywords: Japan; social change; Japanese elderly; war

Chapter.  4790 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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